A national network of entrepreneurs, The Indian Angel Network (IAN), has taken a decision to invest up to Rs. 2 Crores (US$ 333,000) in 6 companies per year, who focus their efforts at the grass-root level.
Titled ‘IAN Impact’, it is a sub-group comprising of about 50 IAN members & has already begun the initiative with Gram Vaani, which we had covered recently. Apart from this venture, the team has already handed a ‘term sheet’ to one another company. In all, IAN Impact will carefully choose & invest in a total of 6 ventures in the coming 12 months shared Nagaraja Prakasam, an IAN member, “This is a sub-group of around 50 IAN members. We have already invested in Delhi-based Gram Vani and are now looking to invest in a total of six firms in the next 12 months. The pipeline is pretty strong and we have given term sheet to one more company. However, we can’t disclose the name yet”
Why the need to form a sub-group? IAN itself is a quite strong group of entrepreneurs who have been investing quite regularly within Indian companies & helping them get a secure financial & managerial bearing with routine mentoring too.
However IAN Impact sub-group has taken a more narrowed outlook & will mentor only those companies who strive to add value to the ‘Bottom of the Pyramid’. To elaborate, the example of Gram Vaani itself is enough. The company is trying to develop a simple IVR based communications center that common people can call-in & either, leave a message, or simply listen to messages left by others. Interestingly it appears to be an extrapolation of a community radio platform with advanced features that otherwise simply cannot be availed due to financial restrictions.
In essence, IAN Impact will address financial restraints of cause-based entrepreneurs, explained Alok Mittal, managing director at Canaan Partners, “It looks to help cause-based entrepreneurs, so that they can build sustainable and scalable ventures”
Ironically, the newly formed angel sub-group won’t have an independent fund-pot & have carefully selected the categories that will have a communal impact. “We will focus on startups operating in areas like energy and cleantech, water, healthcare, IT, education, etc. When we identify a startup, all our members will directly invest into that company. We are also looking for impact ventures which focus on low-income families in India,” said member Nagaraja Prakasam.
Image Courtesy | accentinsurance